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K-State Today

July 28, 2014

Researchers asked to review inventories, notify university select agent program if using listed toxins

Submitted by Ronald L. Bridges

Kansas State University researchers are asked to review inventories and notify the University Select Agent Program if using any listed biological toxins.

The U.S. government has been closely watching the transfer of certain biological organisms and toxins to combat terrorism since 1995. The Select Agent Program was developed to regulate the possession, use and transfer of biological agents and toxins that could pose a severe threat to public health and safety. Through the years, the program has changed to keep up with science, to remove research barriers and to simplify coordination between agencies.

In late 2012, the departments of Heath and Human Services and Agriculture published final rules amending regulations that govern the possession, use and transfer of select agents and toxins — see 42 C.F.R. Part 73, 7 C.F.R. Part 331 and 9 C.F.R. Part 121. Among the changes are new requirements for transferring select agent toxins, regardless of the quantity.

A campuswide survey was done in 2013 in response to new regulatory requirements for the country's list of select agent toxins that went into effect in late 2012. K-State must continue to conduct the annual survey to remain in compliance with the regulations. Researchers using these toxins are asked to notify the university's Select Agent Program as soon as possible.

The select agent toxins are:

  • Abrin
  • Botulinum neurotoxins
  • Conotoxins
  • Diacetoxyscirpenol
  • Ricin
  • Saxitoxin
  • Staphylococcal enterotoxins
  • T-2 toxin
  • Tetrodotoxin

Prior to the regulation change, we only needed to track select agent toxins over a certain quantity. Now we need to know who has any quantity of these biological toxins.

All University principal investigators are asked to review their inventories to verify if they possess any of these toxins.  If you do possess any of these select agent toxins and have not already submitted toxin inventory information for 2014, please notify Julie Johnson, the responsible official for the University Select Agent Program, at jajohns@k-state.edu or 785-532-3248 by Aug. 31.